Sunday, January 25, 2009

Public Hearing Responses

At last week's Legislative Session, Board member Mark Brentley proposed improvements in the way that the administration responds to speakers at the monthly Public Hearing.

Currently, each speaker receives a postcard from the Superintendent thanking the speaker for his or her input.

Under Mr. Brentley's proposal, speakers would receive a letter that not only expressed appreciation, but also restated the issue or concern expressed by the speaker and provided an appropriate response, including any information requested. Responses would be sent within 48 hours.

Board member Randall Taylor seconded the motion but the other members voted against it. Part of the reason is that Board member Sherry Hazuda's Communications committee is working on a procedure for responding to speakers. There was also concern that the 48 hour turnaround was too optimistic, particularly because some concerns might require Board action.

If these measures are successful, the Public Hearing process may become a means for two way communication between parents/the community and the administration/ Board.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Other school districts hold public hearings where the communication is immediately two-way. I believe you can review the minutes from the Baltimore public hearings and see where board memebers or members of the administration actually answer questions during testimony.

Mark Rauterkus said...

In all my days, I've never gotten a post-card from Mark Roosevelt or the board after I spoke.

Questioner said...

The postcards seem to be a fairly recent practice- maybe as of September or October 2008.

Annette Werner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annette Werner said...

There does seem to be a real difference in responding the speakers at public hearings. Today, those of us who spoke about apparent inconsistencies in how the district is handling asbestos plaster failure received a letter from the district's Customer Service Manager about this issue.

This is a huge improvement over "thank you for your testimony." However, in our particular case, the response is the memo that the superintendent sent to district staff on January 12, PRIOR to the time our testimony was even given!

Our response to the superintendent's memo, sent to the superintendent and staff on January 19 and posted as a Featured Topic the purereform.com website, explains why the superintendent's memo does not adequately address our concerns. Our response also lists the questions we raised at the public hearing and requests an answer to those questions.

Stephanie Tecza said...

I have NEVER have received a lovely post card for testifying. I think I would faint if I ever did.
Regarding the 48 hour turn around, if issue needs further investigating then the correspondence can indicate that.

Stephanie Tecza said...

I have NEVER received a lovely post card for testifying. I think I would faint if I ever did.
Regarding the 48 hour turn around, if issue needs further investigating then the correspondence can indicate that.